Two years ago, I made a valiant effort and saw eight of the ten films. This year I saw seven of the nine nominees. Aaron plays along and tries to see most of them with me, but he's also usually asleep well before the Best Picture is announced, so he's clearly not as devoted as I am.
Amour - I didn't see this one. I just know it's heartbreaking and I'm sure it's wonderfully done. I'll probably watch it someday, but I promise that Aaron never will. He won't see any movie that's "scary or sad."
Argo - I thought this movie was brilliant. It balanced levity and intensity. It had me on the edge of my seat and had me questioning whether or not they'd get out, even though I had just read an interview with the real dude played by Ben Affleck. To me, that's film making. And yes, I'm bitter that Ben didn't get a nomination.
Beasts of the Southern Wild - My God, was this movie depressing. But Quvenzhané Wallis was fierce and while she won't win for Best Actress, she deserves the nomination.
Django Unchained - I do enjoy Quentin Tarantino movies and this was no exception. In fact, it's probably my #2 fave of his after Pulp Fiction. There were definitely some disturbing scenes to watch, and it was probably longer than it needed to be, but Aaron and I both really liked it. Christoph Waltz was outstanding, and I think Jamie Foxx should have gotten a nomination. Hell, Joaquin Phoenix doesn't care about awards anyway so just boot him out (but I admit I haven't seen The Master so I can't really comment on his performance).
Les Misérables - A lot has been made of the fact that the actors sang live and it really did make all the difference. I thought the movie was well done and I didn't think I'd cry at the end but I did. There were some powerful scenes, but I also felt like some of it didn't translate well from stage to screen, particularly transitions between scenes. Still, it's worthy of its nomination. And I know some people don't agree with this but Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen were perfect as the Thénardiers.
Life of Pi - Didn't see it. Really don't have a desire to see it. Sorry I'm not sorry about that.
Lincoln - Um, Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field? Yes, please. Of course it's genius. After much deliberation, Aaron decided this was his favorite (with Django a close second).
Silver Linings Playbook - This is "a movie." It's not a spectacle, it's not based on a true story, but it's an actor's movie. And the acting was stellar. Bradley Cooper (who, by the way, still has time to fly me out there to be his date) proved he's for real and not just a pretty face. Jacki Weaver and Robert DeNiro showed the ranges of emotion as parents dealing with their son's mental illness. And Jennifer Lawrence made me like what could have been an unlikable character.
Zero Dark Thirty - Kathryn Bigelow was robbed almost as badly as Ben Affleck. I liked this movie, but was thrown off by
I think Lincoln is deserving of the win, but I'm rooting for Argo.
In the other major races, I'm going with:
- Steven Spielberg for director
- Daniel Day-Lewis for lead actor (duh)
- Jennifer Lawrence for lead actress (although I wish I had seen The Impossible because I'm thinking Naomi Watts was amazing)
- Christoph Waltz for supporting actor (this is a tough category but I'm picking Waltz to give some love to Django)
- Anne Hathaway for supporting actress (she really was devastating as Fantine)
So I'm not going out on a limb at all, but trying to spread the wealth.
I'm hopeful that Seth MacFarlane doesn't bomb as host. It's a tough gig, to be sure, and I'm a huge Billy Crystal-as-Oscar-host fan so I tend to compare all other hosts to him.
Check back Monday for my in-the-moment thoughts on the show.